JEFFERSON CITY – Hannibal-LaGrange University professor John Francis takes seriously – though with delight – the biblical command to praise God “with the sound of the trumpet” (Psalm 150:3). He wrote a master’s thesis called, “Trumpets in Scripture: the Representative Voice of God,” and he regularly writes about the instrument and its biblical background on his blog, www.biblicaltrumpets.org.
So it’s no surprise that, when Missourians retreated to their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Francis took his musical worship to Facebook “with the sound of the trumpet.” Since March 23, he has shared one video daily, playing classic hymns like “It is Well,” “To God Be The Glory,” “For the Beauty of the Earth,” “Victory in Jesus,” and “This is My Father’s World.”
To listen to Francis’ April 6th, jazzy rendition of “Nothing but the Blood,” visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/johnlesliefrancis/videos/10158343479123734/.
“Making music is a response of these stressors (of the COVID-19 pandemic). It is an outlet,” Francis told The Pathway. “The advantage is that, if done sincerely and well, it can help soothe others.” In fact, he added, Scripture emphasizes the importance, in Ephesians 5:19 and Colossians 3:16, of encouraging others through “psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.”
And Francis isn’t alone in using music to gladden people’s hearts during the ongoing pandemic.
John Cornish, a music professor at College of the Ozarks and member of First Baptist Church, Branson, has also shared his music on Facebook, worshipping with the sound of voice, piano and organ. His online performances have included “God and God Alone,” “In Christ Alone,” and “It is Well.”
He also sang “Cry No More,” which he called a “beautiful song of faith” that “seems especially relevant under the current circumstances.” The chorus proclaims Christ’s presence and love:
“Christ within us, Christ among us,
Christ the first and Christ the last;
Love Incarnate, hold Your children
Till the storm of life is past.”
To listen to Cornish’s performance, visit Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/johndcornish/videos/10163718351760311/.
“Music is such a vital part of our lives,” Cornish told The Pathway. “In general, you can’t go anywhere or do much of anything without hearing music. And even from our earliest days as children, in music we find a place of solace – mothers sing lullabies to their children, help them feel safe and secure.
“So human nature finds a solace in music that I believe God created there with a purpose,” he added. “Look at the Psalms of David about seeking refuge and strength. I think it’s one of the functions of music to provide security, rest and peace. So in times like this, when the world seems unstable and we don’t know what’s going to happen from one day to the next, we can be drawn to something that is familiar, that is safe, that is warm.”